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EPO Management Reportedly in a State of Collapse, Rumours Suggest Battistelli Possibly Out Soon, Events Canceled

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest word from inside and outside the EPO, serving to reinforce rumours that a post-Battistelli era isn’t a distant dream anymore

THE media is saying nothing about the EPO (except puff pieces repeating an EPO press release/propaganda regarding Rospatent) and people keep asking us what’s going on.

Here is a concise summary of what’s known and what’s speculated.

“Board 28 is preparing (or has prepared) a doc,” said an earlier comment, “to be discussed at the AC in March which is putting BB against the wall. Directors in DG1 are already informing some selected staff that the situation is very difficult for BB and that the confrontation with the AC will be so harsh to convince him that he has to go. [...] Let’s keep the finger cross and keep the EPO under pressure. Many of the explicit and implicit supporters of BB will try to recycle themselves like some Nazis did after Hitler’s fall. Beware of the hypocrites!”

We also have the following document which is in German (English/French/Spanish translations would be more than welcome). This document was addressed to the Praesidium of the AC. It says:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

An das Präsidium
des Verwaltungsrats
der Europäischen Patenorganisation


Sozialstudie 2016 – Position des Zentralen Personalausschusses

Sehr geehrte Präsidiumsmitglieder,

Sie hatten die Vorbereitung und den aktuellen Stand der Sozialstudie 2016 auf der Tagesordnung Ihrer 69. bzw. 70. Sitzung. Auch für heute steht die Sozialstudie wieder auf Ihrer Agenda. Wir bedauern es, dass die Amtsleitung die vom 16. bis 18. Februar 2016 geplante Sitzung des ZPA nicht genehmigt hat, so dass wir – entgegen unserer Absicht – nicht persönlich mit Ihnen in Kontakt treten können. Daher erlauben wir uns, Sie schriftlich darüber zu unterrichten, dass der ZPA aufgrund aktueller Anlässe seine Haltung gegenüber der anvisierten Studie ändern musste. In der Sitzung des Allgemeinen Beratenden Ausschusses am 9. Dezember 2015 zeigten sich die anwesenden Mitglieder des ZPA in ihren Bemerkungen zum dort kurzfristig auf die Agenda genommenen Dokument zur Sozialstudie 2016 noch vorsichtig optimistisch. Insbesondere die Federführung durch den Verwaltungsrat und die Bereitschaft, Bemerkungen und Vorschläge des ZPA aufzugreifen, erschienen uns als unterstützenswerter Ansatz, sich von den einseitigen Darstellungen des Amtspräsidenten zur sozialen Situation im EPA lösen zu wollen. In der vergangenen Tagung des Verwaltungsrats unterstrichen wir in unseren Ausführungen noch einmal, dass ein besonderes Augenmerk auf die Unabhängigkeit des externen Auftragnehmers, auf die Gewährleistung der absoluten Anonymität der teilnehmenden Bediensteten und auf die Einschätzung des Personals zur Auswirkung der aktuellen Arbeitsatmosphäre auf die Qualität der geleisteten Arbeit gelegt werden muss.
Am 7. Januar 2016 wurde uns mitgeteilt, dass der Präsident entschieden hatte, den ZPA einzuladen, einen Beobachter zum Vergabeausschuss zu nominieren. Dieser Einladung kamen wir innerhalb der kurzen gegebenen Frist am 15. Januar 2016 nach. Am 21. Januar 2016 übermittelten wir

dem Verwaltungsrat und dem Amtspräsidenten weitere Anmerkungen und Vorschläge zur Sozialstudie 2016 in Schriftform. Trotzdem behauptete der Amtspräsident am 4. Februar 2016 in seiner Veranstaltung „Meet the President“ vor der Amtsöffentlichkeit, der ZPA habe trotz Einladung niemals Kommentare zur geplanten Sozialstudie abgegeben.
Unser Beobachter wurde leider nie zu einer Sitzung eingeladen oder anderweitig an der Vorbereitung der Studie beteiligt, sondern erhielt erstmalig am Nachmittag des 11. Februar 2016 Unterlagen zur Ausschreibung, die für den 12. Februar 2016 terminiert war. Diese Unterlagen umfassten mehrere Dokumente mit einem Umfang von über 100 Seiten, für die nicht einmal klargestellt war, inwiefern sie an den ZPA weitergegeben werden durften.
Wir betrachten diese Art der Konsultation als mangelhaft und nicht als bona fide. Vielmehr fürchten wir, dass versucht werden könnte, die Teilnahme eines ZPA-Beobachters im Vergabeausschuss später als Argument für eine angebliche Unabhängigkeit der Sozialstudie 2016 anzuführen. Daher stellen wir an dieser Stelle deutlich klar, dass der ZPA seine anfängliche Unterstützung für die Durchführung der Studie vorerst zurückzieht. Uns erstaunt im Übrigen, dass offenbar niemand mehr aus dem Verwaltungsrat – nicht einmal aus seinem Präsidium – an der Vorbereitung, Ausschreibung und Durchführung der Sozialstudie 2016 beteiligt ist, zumal Artikel 32 EPÜ doch entsprechende Möglichkeiten für den Verwaltungsrat vorsieht.
Da also demnach die Federführung aufgegeben wurde und auch keine Vorschläge des ZPA aufgegriffen wurden, sind unsere wesentlichen Gründe für eine Unterstützung der Studie nunmehr hinfällig. Wir können daher den Bediensteten des Europäischen Patentamts eine Teilnahme an eventuellen Interviews und Umfragen im Rahmen der Sozialstudie 2016 derzeit nicht empfehlen. Uns bleibt lediglich, dem Amtspräsidenten für die Unabhängigkeit und Glaubwürdigkeit seiner Sozialstudie 2016 viel Glück zu wünschen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Der Zentrale Personalausschuss

Wir bestätigen, dass das obige Schreiben ordnungsgemäß vom
Zentralen Personalausschuss beschlossen wurde.

Mr B. Battistelli, President of the EPO
Mr Y. Grandjean, Director Council Secretariat

It sure looks like the Battistelli era is almost finished. “I am hearing rumours that he has gone,” one person told us a short while ago, but “it’s unconfirmed however,” said another person, “something seriously is going on right now! PANIC ON THE TITANIC and that is NO rumor” (we heard it from quite a few separate sources).

“Hold your breath,” this person added, “here is another rumour! Apparently a big IP event scheduled for next week got canceled!”

It’s apparently not the propaganda event in which FTI Consulting is involved but “the IP5 event!”

“IP5 heads of the big 5 patent offices,” clarified this person in response to a question (more here and here). “Let’s call it the begin[ning] of the end of an awful era,” it was later added, “however remember that more rotten heads need to be removed!”

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A Single Comment

  1. katkatkat said,

    February 19, 2016 at 1:03 am


    Further rumours:
    In order to go, BB wants 18 millions €. Furthermore, Mrs Bergot should be allowed to remain in a high position.
    If true, it would be a shame. Someone who has destroyed the proper functioning of a model organisation and made a mess of the social climate should go with a kick in the lower back, not with money taken from the fees paid by the users.
    No negotiations, please! He and the crooks who supported him all along should simply go.

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